Hudson's Bay struggling in Netherlands; jobs may be at risk: report

Hudson's Bay opens on the Rokin in Amsterdam, 5 Sept 2017
Hudson's Bay opens on the Rokin in Amsterdam, 5 Sept 2017. (Photo: @RokinAmsterdam / Twitter)

Hudson's Bay is struggling in the Netherlands. The 13 department stores in the country are suffering a loss of 80 million euros this year, and layoffs may be ahead, the Telegraaf reports based on internal documents.

A spokesperson for Hudson's Bay in the Netherlands did not want to say much to the newspaper, only saying that it is "clear that something is going to happen, but the new owners still have to make a decision".

The first Hudson's Bay store in the Netherlands opened with great fanfare in Amsterdam over a year ago. The chain thought it could fill the gap left in the Netherlands by the bankruptcy of V&D, but that seems to be more difficult than expected. The Netherlands now counts 13 Hudson's Bay stores.

The Dutch stores were owned by the Canadian Hudson's Bay Company, but last year most of the Hudson Bay's stores in the Netherlands and Germany were sold to Austrian company Signa. Other Signa department stores, Karstadt and Kaufhof, are also struggling, according to the Telegraaf. The Hudson's Bay and Kaufohof stores in the Netherlands and Germany are making a loss of 190 million euros this year, the newspaper writes. Cutbacks are therefore required, including on the staff.

Hudson's Bay plans to open stores in Utrecht and Amstelveen next year, according to RTL Z. The chance that these openings will be canceled is small because they company has long-term leases for 16 properties in the Netherlands. According to the broadcaster, the contracts run between 15 and 20 years, so leaving will mean huge damages claims for Hudson's Bay.